Fishermen protest against the Coastal Road project.
Fishermen protest against the Coastal Road project.(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Nitesh Patil)
  • 1. What Is the Coastal Road Project? Why Is It Needed?
  • 2. Does the Cost of the Project Justify Its Purpose?
  • 3. Coastal Road vs Biodiversity: Why Are Environmentalists...
  • 4. Coastal Road vs Fishermen
  • 5. Where Does the Project Stand Legally?
  • 6. Who Stands to Lose Over the Delay?
Environment Vs Development: BMC’s Coastal Road Has Mumbai Divided

The Maharashtra government’s ambitious Mumbai coastal road project hit an unexpected roadblock on 16 July 2019 after the Bombay High Court struck down the environmental clearances granted to the project.

While many see this as a massive victory for environmentalists and conservationists, the fight is still far from over as the BMC has now moved the Supreme Court, challenging the high court order.

The mega project, that is set to cost about Rs 12,700 crore, has courted controversy ever since its inception.

While it will definitely cut down the commute time for Mumbaikars travelling between South Mumbai and the far-flung western suburbs of the city, environmentalists argue that the massive construction needed will be detrimental to the ecosystem in and around the city.

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  • 1. What Is the Coastal Road Project? Why Is It Needed?

    Decongesting Mumbai’s arterial roads was the key idea behind the Coastal Road project. Covering a distance of 29.2 kilometre, the road is expected to be built in two phases – Marine Lines in South Mumbai to Worli Sea Link and Bandra Sea Link to Kandivali junction in North Mumbai.

    The eight-lane expressway is projected to be used by nearly 1,30,000 vehicles when complete and is expected to cut the travel time from South Mumbai to the Northern parts of the city from 120 minutes to about 40 minutes.
    Fishermen protest against the Coastal Road project.
    A screenshot of the BMC video depicting the Mumbai Coastal Road once its finished.
    (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

    Apart from reducing travel time, the BMC, in a 2016 report, stated that, ‘health concerns alone would justify taking up this project in larger public interest.’

    The civic body added that the land reclaimed for the coastal road would also create more open spaces – something scarce in the ‘maximum’ city.

    “The coastal freeway system proposed by the committee provides a feasible solution to ameliorate traffic congestion and consequent health hazards. It generates much needed recreational spaces (90 hectares), now by the sea side through creation of beautiful sea side promenades and cycle tracks. All these sea side facilities would be within the easy reach of the common public as opposed to such spaces being private backyards of a few or common place abuse of the sea side spaces by ugly encroachments.”
    Excerpt from BMC’s Coastal Road Plan 2016 EIA Report

    Also Read : HC Quashes CRZ Clearance to ₹14,000 Cr Mumbai Coastal Road Project

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